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December Madness | An Estelle “Shelve It”

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Greetings! How are you? Have you been trampled by crowds of shoppers this weekend, perhaps spending time with family, or maybe making some delicious desserts? Well… we have been busy with last minute shopping and lots of crafting (glue everywhere!). Oh the joy of December. This also means: great mail! I’ve been so fortunate to receive some goodies lately so I thought I would share. Tons to look forward to in my reading future; that is for sure.

Enjoy! I hope you like how I dressed up for you!;)


From Hannah | So Obsessed With:

Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer
Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes
Last Letter from My Lover by Jojo Moyes
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

From Alex | Little Wing Books + @spiritbeauty_

Mosquitoland by David Arnold (March 2015)
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (February 2015)
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (March 2015)
I Was Here by Gayle Forman (January 2015)

From Rachel | Hello, Chelly

Playing with Matches by Suri Rosen
Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry

From Brittany | The Book Addict’s Guide

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

From NOVL/Poppy:

Love, Lucy by April Linder (January 2015)
Kissing Ted Callahan by Amy Spalding (April 2015)

From St. Martin’s Press:

The Secret of Midwives by Sally Hepworth (February 2015)
In Some Other World, Maybe
by Shari Goldhagen (January 2015)

thank you so much!

what’s new around here:

*** We have two international giveaways ending in two days so be sure to stop in and enter. Free books! Did ya hear? Free books! Win an anniversary copy of Harriet the Spy for #SoRatherBeYoung kick off or two options for #DiversityDive challenge! ***

Also a huge, huge congrats to our friend Ginger & Elena, who both graduated from college this weekend! xoxo

have a great, great evening & thanks for stopping in!


December 22, 2014 - 10:08 am

Brianna - So many good books. I’ve been spending too much time on NetGalley and not enough time reading. I always figure it’s a good thing I have no clue how Edelweiss works.

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I’ll Be DIY-ing for Christmas | Bookish Cards

It’s that time of year when my wood floor is covered with little pieces of paper and I have glue stuck to my fingers.

Sounds like the holidays, doesn’t it?

I’ve been making handmade / collage cards for a long time now. I remember sitting on my rug in my old bedroom at my parent’s house, making themed snowman cards for friends and family one year. It all snowballed (ha) from there. My cousins used to laugh when they saw my DIY creations because it was “so obvious I was not a parent” since I had time for these little, insignificant things. But, you know, they were never insignificant to me… even if they weren’t needed. It’s the little details that can make a holiday special, and it’s the even smaller details that can make a piece of mail that much more special.

This time last year, I shared some of the book cover inspired holiday cards I made in 2012 and today I’m about to show you some of my 2013 creations. Each card is carefully paired with the recipient, and each card can take from 45 minutes to two hours to complete. (This obviously does not include the amount of time I spend praying that they arrive safely.)

Sure, it’s always the inside that counts but with these cards, it’s about the entire package. I hope you love them as much as I loved creating them!

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith DIY Card

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith | Made with: watercolor, black cardstock, black marker

Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer DIY Card

Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer | Made with: magazine pages, tissue paper, foil paper

Sidenote: O M G. Was I scared about the delivery of this one.

The Snow Child DIY Card

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey | Made with: cardstock, color pencil, lots of patience (that fox was hard!)

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo DIY Card

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo | Made with: cardstock, black marker, notebook paper

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler DIY Card

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler | Made with: pastels, cardstock

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan | Made with: construction paper, marker

Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia

Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia | Made with: origami paper, color pencil

 I love sharing these with you! Thanks for visiting today.:)

Oh — and happy crafting or DIYing, if that’s what you are up to this weekend!

December 21, 2014 - 7:06 pm

December Madness | An Estelle "Shelve It", Estelle - […] I’ll Be DIYing for Christmas: my bookish cards from last year […]

December 21, 2014 - 10:45 am

Jess @ Gone with the Words - These are simply the most wonderful ever! You do such a great job, E. Love them so much and I look forward to seeing what you create each year. <3

December 21, 2014 - 12:04 am

Retrospectively Reading (11) | The Reading Shelf - […] “I’ll Be DIY-ing for Christmas” @ Rather Be Reading […]

December 20, 2014 - 10:54 am

Leah - I was wondering if you still made these!! I’m seriously blown away here, Estelle, not even joking. I keep scrolling back up to stare at them – I’m absolutely in love with the Snow Child card!! (& oh my gosh the Nowhere but Home skirt!!!)

December 20, 2014 - 9:29 am

Chloe @ YA Booklover Blog - These are absolutely beautiful! I love the Snow Child one especially :) The time and effort you put into these is so amazing, they must be such a treat to receive (but I don’t know if I could bear sending them away!).

December 20, 2014 - 12:04 am

Jess, Books and Sensibility - Wow, these are amazing. So creative !

December 19, 2014 - 9:26 pm

Annie - These are gorgeous! It’s amazing how closely they match the books’ covers. You’re so talented Estelle because these are all SO GOOD.

December 19, 2014 - 8:18 pm

Jessica - I love these! Yes to patience as a craft tool. I DIY-ed 15 cards this year with an X-acto knife and there were moments where I questioned my sanity, yikes but the end result is so worth it.

December 19, 2014 - 8:17 pm

Brianna - These are beautiful!

December 19, 2014 - 5:17 pm

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - So gorgeous. You are such an artist, Estelle, in your crafting, your makeup, and your writing! I’m sure the recipients must be so grateful for your effort.

I’m making a card for my sister-in-law tonight for her birthday, other than that, it’s cookie baking season for me!

December 19, 2014 - 4:55 pm

Lola - Wow I am impressed, those cards looks fabulous! And indeed sometimes it’s the small things that count. You really put a lot of work and effort in it and I love how easily you can recognize the book the card is based on.

December 19, 2014 - 11:14 am

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA - Okay, the Counting by 7s one?! With the little Santa hat? I mean, TOO CUTE! And the Nowhere But Home one? GAH! These are so beautiful! Good job!

December 19, 2014 - 9:45 am

Lauren at Bookmark Lit - Oh my goodness these are gorgeous! Absolutely great job. I’m obsessed with the Twenty Boy Summer one!

December 19, 2014 - 8:32 am

Andi - This is AMAZING E! I am blown away by your talent! I can’t even begin to imagine how much time and love goes into these. Nicely done.

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Dive Into Diversity | Intro + Sign Up

Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge

(Very special thanks to Rachel for designing the amazing graphics for this challenge!)

The best parts of reading are finding books that remind you of you and learning about other people.

We want to relate, empathize, and be challenged by the situations and personalities we don’t know. It makes us well-rounded people, and helps us to understand the world around us. So when the lovely Rebecca at Reading Wishes approached us about co-hosting a diverse books reading challenge, on the heels of the amazing We Need Diverse Books campaign, we were immediately on board.

To be honest, sometimes we shy away from reading challenges because life can get so absolutely hectic and we don’t like to disappoint anyone, especially ourselves so — spoiler alert — we’re making this one easy peasy. Check it out:

the details.

Dive Into Diversity officially kicks off on January 1, 2015 and will run through December 31. Each month, Rebecca and RBR will publish a diverse post  with a Linky. Simply add a review or post you wrote about diverse books to the Linky, and that’s it!

what does diverse mean exactly?

We loved this explanation from the We Need Diverse Books Tumblr: “We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.”

the good stuff.

There are no numbers of books associated with this challenge. Nope. (Though we do hope you challenge yourself to reading at least one diverse book a month.) There is an incentive for those of you who participate each month and also use our hashtag #DiveDiversity to spread the word. You know what this means… giveaways and more.

a little help from our friends.

Don’t know where to start and want some suggestions to get you started? No fear, we are here to help! Be sure to check out The Diversity Book Club (they are awesome), Dahlia Adler’s Quiltbag Compredium, and Rebecca’s Diversity Bookshelf on Goodreads.

kick-off giveaway.

Speaking of giveaways, we’re sharing our most memorable diverse books of the year!

the prizes:

1. We will send one book to two winners. The winners will have their option to choose from the seven books below.

2. Rebecca is also giving away a copy of her favorite 2014 diversity read, THE LAST LEAVES FALLING by Sarah Benwell.

The giveaway is open to anyone who can receive shipments from Book Depository, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. You must be 13 years or older to enter.

#DiversityDive Reading Challenge

The Curvy Girls Club | Everything Leads to You | Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
Even in Paradise | Rites of Passage | Say What You Will | The Tragedy Paper

a Rafflecopter giveaway

help spread the word.

Feel free to grab our Dive Into Diversity button and display it on your blog. You’ll just need to copy the text below the image. Dive into Diversity Reading Challenge

<div align=”center”> <a href=”http://ratherbereadingblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DiversityDive-Challenge-Button.png” title=”Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge 2015″><img src=”http://ratherbereadingblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DiversityDive-Challenge-Button.png” alt=”Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>



We are so excited to go on this reading adventure with you guys and Rebecca! Make sure you check out her intro post and sign-up below to read more diversely with us in 2015!


official sign-up.

December 21, 2014 - 1:05 am

Weekly Recap| Dec 14-20, 2014 | Oh, the Books! - […] Rebecca, Magan, and Estelle introduce the Dive into Diversity reading challenge. […]

December 20, 2014 - 9:59 pm

Tori Russle - I am so excited for this challenge and my favourite diverse book is called “The Shock of the Fall”by Nathan Filer. It’s a really great book about a boy with schizophrenia and the view point in the book is very different from any other book i read. Be warned though you will probably be crying all through the book.

December 20, 2014 - 9:52 am

Chloe @ YA Booklover Blog - Love this! I just signed up for the challenge. I’m very happy that not only will I be pushing myself to read more diverse books, but there’s no set number that I have to stress about. Thank you for the giveaway!

December 18, 2014 - 7:20 pm

AJ - I’m so exited to participate in this challenge!

December 18, 2014 - 7:30 am

Natalie - I’m so excited for this challenge!

My fave diverse book I’ve read has to be Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green.

December 17, 2014 - 11:38 pm

Dianne - So far, my all-time fave diverse book is TWO BOYS KISSING by David Levithan. <3

December 17, 2014 - 11:28 pm

Dianne - I signed up, 2015 hectic-ness be damned! So excited for this. Love the idea. <3

December 17, 2014 - 3:54 pm

Yahong - Oof, and to answer the question… probably my all-time fave diverse book is Alaya Dawn Johnson’s THE SUMMER PRINCE, which is a world-changing sci-fi about art, life & sacrifice set in futuristic Brazil — this book 99.56% literally killed me. It’s the kind of book I want everyone in the world to read, haha.

December 17, 2014 - 3:52 pm

Yahong - Love this idea! I’m really glad to see that after #WeNeedDiverseBooks hit Twitter & Tumblr the ball is still rolling.

December 17, 2014 - 3:14 pm

Marie Landry - This is such a great idea! I’ve signed up. Thanks for hosting! :-)

December 17, 2014 - 11:04 am

Stormy - Love this idea! Definitely signing up.

December 17, 2014 - 10:09 am

Sandie - We would love to collaborate with you at the Diversity Book Club somehow! Let’s talk.

December 17, 2014 - 10:00 am

Maxine @ Maximum Reads - What a great challenge! I am supper excited to be participating in this one!

December 17, 2014 - 8:35 am

Book Blogger Organization Challenge: Winter/Spring 2015 - […] (hosted by The Book Vixen) // Debut Author Challenge (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) // Dive Into Diversity (hosted by Rather Be Reading and Reading Wishes) // Full House Reading Challenge (hosted by Book […]

December 17, 2014 - 8:19 am

Sandy S. - I love this idea and I am excited to read more diverse books in 2015. I can’t wait to see more titles as I am sure I am missing some great reads out there. My all time favorite diverse book….that’s a hard question, perhaps I can’t name just one because they all have affected me and changed me. These are the ones I would highly recommend that I have read, ones that I would save in a fire, preach from a pulpit and tell you once you have read them, they will change you. They are The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, Beauty of the Broken, Lies We Tell Ourselves and Something Real.

December 17, 2014 - 8:09 am

Rebecca @ Reading Wishes - I’m so excited! I can’t believe it’s here! So glad you guys are my challenge co-bloggers :)

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Big Kids’ Table: 2014 Reflections

big kids

Another year almost done. Are they all going to go as fast as this one? I sure hope not because I think part of my brain is still hanging out in the spring. Ha! It’s been another interesting year of Big Kids’ Table feature. Unlike many other blog features I see, I still haven’t been able to get my rhythm done with this one. No two posts are ever the same, and while I should be proud of that, sometimes it makes me feel like this feature was never full realized.

But, hey, I’m recommending readers non-YA books, right? So part of it is working. In fact, there are a few posts I totally loved this year…

And now, a rundown of the most memorable non-YA books I’ve gobbled up this year… hopefully in time for your holiday shopping:

What took me so long?

Big Kids Table 2014 Overview What Took Me So Long

The world told me and I listened. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes = total wins. Emotional but also with such humor folded in. DON’T FORGET THE HUMOR.

Let’s fall in love.

It’s not a reading year if there isn’t romance. Am I right? What do I need to recommend a romance from the highest mountain? Chemistry, a great story, and some fantastic dialogue. Hope you’ll give these a whirl!

Big Kids Table 2014 Overview Romance Novels

Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl | A Passionate Love Affair with a Perfect Stranger by Lucy Robinson | Her Holiday Man by Stacey Shannon


Big Kids

Two VERY different titles that were almost a shock to my own reading system. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, a fantastic debut, about a woman who is kidnapped.  The story is told from alternate POVs and positively creepy, emotional and yet understandable. And then to change things up completely, Charlie’s Glass Slippers: a makeover, career confidence, and romance drama. Guys, this book might be long but it is so so much fun. (The cover is pretty sweet too!)

No one hit wonder.

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Forever Interrupted still tops my list as one of the most realistic, perfect books for someone in their mid-20s. Her follow-up about a young couple that decides to separate and not speak for a year was full of so many moments that made me thinking about how we can easily start to take people for granted in our lives, and also easily fall into habit and lose something so valuable. I can’t recommend Taylor’s work enough.

Runner-up: The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard: a family torn apart after a tragedy and revenge.

A recommendation that hit the spot.

Steal the North by Heather Bergstrom

Steal the North freaking knocked my socks off. For regular YA readers, this is the perfect pick for crossover because the main character is a teen going through a ton of changes with family, boys, and herself. The writing is beyond spectacular. Big thanks to Leah at The Pretty Good Gatsby for putting it on my radar.

Runner up: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I’m not one to usually pick up historical romances but I’m glad I read this one. It’s so emotional and well-done. (A review at So Obsessed Blog to get you inspired to read Burial Rites!)

The in-betweeners.

Yep. I’m adding some New Adult picks in this time. Guys, they were great and you have to read them. If you are worried about being overwhelmed by the sex, don’t me… these are all a combination of super sexy and well-developed.

Big Kids Table New Adult Book Recommendations 2014

Make It Count by Megan Erickson | Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler | Unraveled by Jen Frederick

A hopeful wish.

Well, being that I didn’t read any of the books I thought I would in 2014 per this post, I’m going to try again with better results. I swear! At the end of next year, I will most certainly be patting myself on the back for following through on this very short list. Right? Right?! I need you all to cheer me on.

Big Kids Table 2014 Overview What to Read in 2015

 Girl Before Mirror by Liza Palmer | A Little Princess by Frances H. Burnett | My Father’s Wives by Mike Greenberg

A quick announcement: I’m changing up Big Kids’ Table again in 2015 (I hinted to it slightly in last month’s post) and if you want to share your non-YA recs in this capacity, I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime: estelle AT ratherbereadingblog DOT com. I swear it will be oodles of fun, and I’d love to have you.

Until the next Big Kids’ Table, happy holidays, happy reading, and enjoy the rest of the year.

And remember: don’t be afraid to read outside of your genre.:)

December 18, 2014 - 12:36 am

Cee - I have the Rosie Project and Me Before You on my TBR list since like forever. I have Me Before You on my shelf rn, and I feel sooo guilty that I haven’t read it yet. I really need the desire to read them to hit me ASAP. I just want it—humor and emotions. Give it to me!

December 16, 2014 - 10:48 pm

Stephanie at The Insouciant Sophisticate - What did take you so long with The Rosie Project and Me Before You? Haha. Such great reads and two of my personal recent faves.

December 16, 2014 - 12:36 pm

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - I think my favorite thing about Big Kids’ Table is that no two posts are ever the same! I’ve loved it hard every time I’ve seen it and I’m sure I’ll love it so much every time I see it in the future. I added a couple to my to-read on Goodreads and a few on my library list as well. Once again, thank you for bringing a few titles to my attention that I had never seen before (: Burial Rites was one of my two favorites this year, so glad you enjoyed it.

December 15, 2014 - 3:31 pm

Daphne - I can’t wait to get to goodreads & do some adding to the TBR.

December 15, 2014 - 2:06 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I’ve never read A Little Princess, but it’s been on my TBR for ages! And The Rosie Project was just so good right. I should read Her Holiday Man!

December 15, 2014 - 10:20 am

Brianna - A bunch of these are on my to read list. It took me a while to get into After I Do, but I ended up loving it.

December 15, 2014 - 9:39 am

Leah - I STILL haven’t read The Rosie Project! A sin of the worst kind, I know – especially since I have it on my shelf! It’s also killing me since I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about it (and even BILL GATES recently mentioned how much he loves the sequel). No excuses.
I fell HARD for Jojo in 2013 and this year was all about going through her backlist. So far I’ve read four (and own three others) and have absolutely loved every single one.
I SPY A HOLIDAY NOVEL. Someday I’ll give it and finally take the plunge. Your mini-reviews had me ready to dive in!
A coworker loved – LOVED! – The Good Girl and I’m super eager to get my hands on some Taylor Jenkins Reid!
Still delighted you loved STN so much (and thinking of the next book to push on you ♥!). Burial Rites is another book I bought because so many bloggers loved it…and never made time for it. It feels like the perfect novel for cold winter nights though.

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